Recently a colleague told me about a training conference she attended. She said there was a session on training ROI that was well attended. I asked her how the session went. She said it seemed like everyone wanted to understand learning measurement but there was no one in the group who could provide them clarity on what measurement is all about. She said the session moderator tried to facilitate some basic conclusions from the group but the conversation left people without an answer. [Read more…]
“Expert skill or knowledge in a particular field.” That’s the definition of expertise.
Many learning and development (L&D) practitioners landed in this profession because of their expertise. Companies often conscript people gifted in a certain area to become teachers and trainers of others. That mainly happens because learning programs are tied to a particular subject. A need arises and companies look for the subject matter expert (SME) who knows the material to teach others. It’s a natural and even logical reaction. It happens all the time in organizations. Learning departments often start by building around a group of SMEs.
As I’ve said before, there is nothing wrong with SMEs transitioning to the L&D role. Many of today’s L&D pros took this path into the learning profession. I don’t question your expertise in the subject area that you teach. That’s an important skill to have, and obviously something your organization values or you wouldn’t have been invited to lead learning programs.
However, if you’re going to own your expertise in the L&D field, you must extend beyond your subject area. You must match your subject matter expertise to instructional design (ID) expertise. Build your L&D expertise as you link your SME knowledge and ID skills. [Read more…]
Leaders sit at the executive table. They provide information valuable to running the business. They are the top minds in an organization. From their area of expertise, they create strategies. Those strategies improve outcomes and help the business reach its goals. Each comes from a different discipline—sales, marketing, engineering, and so on. From their realm of knowledge, they tackle corporate challenges and address future direction. They identify how their specific departments can support organizational success.
Naturally, learning professionals want a seat at this table. Without it, they know they can’t impact organizational strategy. Learning is a powerful tool. It gives staff the knowledge and skills they need to help a business reach its strategic goals. From a seat of power, these pros can wield expertise and influence to drive business strategy. [Read more…]
Does your organization employ full-time L&D professionals? I feel certain many of you answered no to that question. For many businesses, the learning role has become a side hustle rather than a full-time focus.
I began thinking on this after reading The Future of Learning Careers in Chief Learning Office magazine. I wanted to touch on two of the author’s observations in particular.
In one instance, the author says, “…SMEs are still being used [to teach internally-led classes] but they are borrowed for that function while keeping their line jobs.” [Read more…]
Play office politics. Use (other people’s) data. Stroke egos. Cater to pet projects.
This was the advice that I read recently in an article aimed at learning professionals trying to secure their annual budget. There were a couple helpful nuggets in the article, but it mostly focused on the political side of the budget process.
Yes, I know in corporations, sometimes office politics overrides good sense. Even so, there are much better ways to secure your L&D budget. Most include using solid data (from your own programs) and linking your programs directly to business objectives.
So why does this topic about securing budgets come up every year? One reason: learning professionals still don’t know how to measure their programs or quantify their value. [Read more…]
A learning object is the unit of measure for learning programs. Every learning professional needs to grasp this concept if they ever hope to create measurable learning programs. This is a simple concept but one many L&D pros struggle with. [Read more…]
Authoring tools help you create content and add visuals. LMS tools track courses offered and who has taken what course.
Those tools provide support and info helpful to your L&D department internally, but they don’t offer what your stakeholders want: data.
Business leaders are asking L&D to prove their design methods actually yield results. They want proof that learning programs improve their business. [Read more…]
Recently, I was a guest on The CLO Show. That’s a podcast produced by Riptide Software and led by moderator Patrick Hodgdon. Of course, we talked about one of my favorite topics: moving past the survey and learning how to measure by design. You can listen to that podcast here.
Following A Familiar Path To L&D
During the podcast we talked about something I’ve never discussed on my blog, which is how I entered the learning and development (L&D) profession. Like so many of us in this field, I got in through a backdoor. My undergraduate work was in marketing and I held a marketing position where I worked. Over time, I came to know their product so well that I was ultimately asked to train others about it.
This path is familiar to many current L&D professionals. You gain expertise in a product or service. To business leaders, that expertise seems like the perfect fit to lead training on the subject. This is a common L&D career path. [Read more…]
Part of the mystery surrounding learning measurement has to do with where in the process to measure learning. Verification of learning program impact can be made at several checkpoints. Let’s review them as we examine the various phases of learning. [Read more…]
U.S. businesses spend billions on training programs each year. That’s no small expense. As a result, stakeholders are demanding proof that the training is worth it. They want hard and fast measures of performance change. They want evidence that performance is improving and that money spent on learning is worth it.
Learning pros have been stumped by this request. They remain mystified about how to show measurable training results. [Read more…]